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The still-born constitution

Imad Khadduri , Free Iraq

Augsut 30, 2005

"The completion of Iraq's draft constitution, which will be submitted to the people for ratification in October, should have been an occasion for celebration. As most Americans are aware, it has not been. But while much of the criticism has focused on such areas as women's rights, federalism and the role of Islam, such concerns are largely misplaced. In fact, the text strives to balance democratic equality with the Islamic values that are popular with many Iraqi voters, and it sketches a workable if vague compromise on power-sharing between the center and the federal regions.
The major problem is one of who is agreeing, not what they have agreed on. The flawed negotiations of recent weeks, driven at breakneck pace by American pressure to meet an unnecessary deadline, failed to produce an agreement satisfactory to the Sunni politicians in the talks. It appears that the draft will be put before the people with their strong disapproval. The paradoxical result is a looming disaster: a well-conceived constitution that, even if ratified, may well fail to move Iraq toward constitutional government."
Agreeing to Disagree in Iraq August 30, 2005

The above is by Noah Feldman who was tasked with putting the constitution's foundations by the CPA.
See if you can manage to sympathize with his position, as he wrings his hands like a fly resting on a pile of dung.

This any-way-you-want-it constituion is rather better described by a comment from a friend of mine:

"Imad, you are completely wrong!
What a great idea: a Constitution with all sorts of blank fields in it, where the U.S. ambassador, special interest groups, religious fanatics, the CIA and the (whatever the Iraqi version of that is) Business Council on National Issues, can just write in what they want it to say, and erase parts of it when it doesn't suit their fancy!
No more need for lengthy legal debates about "what is constitutional!"
From now on, if (say) torturing detainees isn't constitutional, we'll just write in "yes it is", in one of the blank fields!
Hey, wait, I've got a better idea: Let's make it all on a MS-Word document with "Track Changes" disabled, so that nobody knows what got added or deleted!
Just think of it:
The world's first Hi-Tech Fantasy Constitution! Available in Virtual Reality!
Courtesy of your Friends at Microsoft, the Republican Party and the CIA!

And, when all else fails, including a lobbying frantic phone call from Bush to Ja'fari, employ the patented 'democratic' tool:

"The United States have offered to Sunni representatives USD 75 Million to sign the draft Constitution of Iraq, RIA Novosti announced, citing information of source close to the Constitutional Committee of the country, published in the Saudi daily Al Vatan."
US Offered USD 75 Million to Iraqi Sunnis for Signature under Constitution August 30, 2005 (This has not been verified, to my knowledge, elsewhere. I will rectify this once it is.)

Bush, take another vacation .. 'Talks with the Iraqi Resistance ... the only way out of Iraq'
Next time Talk with the Resistance

:: Article nr. 15190 sent on 31-aug-2005 01:18 ECT


Link: abutamam.blogspot.com/2005/08/still-born-constitution.html

:: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website.

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